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Bill Nettles’ name remains better known than his brother Norman but early in their careers they performed as a team, billed first as the Dixie Blue Boys and later as the Nettles Brothers. In common with other vocal based brother acts of the era they featured mandolin (Bill) and guitar (Norman) but seem to have rarely sung as a duet. They developed a distinctive style usually incorporating bluesy fiddle. To quote from Kevin Coffey’s liner notes “Their style, while always unashamedly country and never abandoning basic early influences straddled the fence between rural tradition and more modern urban Influence. Their music, especially Bill's, was steeped in blues and, like most of those who catered to the jukebox demands of the era, also gave more than a nod to the emerging western swing bands”. Bill Nettles was an excellent songwriter and it is widely believed that Davis’ massive hit Nobody’s Darling But Mine was written by Nettles who sold the rights to Davies to meet an urgent need for cash. Our compilation presents 26 of their recordings, equally split between 1937 and 1941.
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